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10 positive COVID-19 cases at Benedictine Crookston

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

    Benedictine Living Community Crookston, formerly known as the Villa St. Vincent, reported eight Villa residents and two Summit residents have tested positive for COVID-19 after testing was offered November 16 for both employees and residents. Benedictine reports that they have moved the positive residents to their “special care unit” with caregivers designated to care for them.

    “Employees were tested again on November 20; we’ll post an update on our hotline with our results when we receive them,” they announced on their website and in a letter to families. “Our next testing date is Nov. 23 for both employees and residents of the Villa and The Summit.”

    Since March, Benedictine has had a total of 23 Villa residents, 10 Summit tenants and 21 employees who have tested positive for COVID-19. Due to the county’s positivity rate, they’re providing weekly coronavirus testing for residents and twice weekly for employees.

    “We are grateful that 14 associates have recovered and seven are recovering in home quarantine,” they added. “As we have for the past few months, we continue to monitor and screen all residents and associates for signs and symptoms of the virus. We remain close communications with our local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all appropriate steps at this time.”

    Benedictine also announced they are still unable to begin indoor visitation as the Minnesota Department of Health requires assisting living communities to restrict visitation until they’ve had no new COVID-19 positive cases on their campus for 14 days. They encourage window visits, weather permitting, or visits via technology.

Infection Control Measures

    Benedictine says, since March, they have followed all recommended guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the state and local health departments. Some of the measures they implement for all residents include daily screenings for symptoms of respiratory illness, temperature and oxygen levels; providing face masks for residents to wear when staff are in their room or if they leave their room for any reason, offering socially distanced meals and activities, encouraging health care providers to use telehealth when possible, and restricting visitors in accordance with state guidance. Any visitors must be screen and free of symptoms before they are allowed to enter with protective precautions in place.

    COVID-19 positive residents are moved to a special designated unit where they are isolated and designated employees care for them. Their condition is closely monitored and family and their physician are notified.

    Associates (staff) are screened for symptoms and temperature prior to beginning work and they’re not allowed in the building if they are ill, Benedictine states. Any employee who exhibits symptoms is instructed to self-quarantine at home and/or seek medical care. All employees are required to wear appropriate PPE.

    “Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 are allowed to return to work when they have been fever-free without use of medication for at least 72 hours, have improved respiratory symptoms, and it has been at least 10 days since their first symptoms first appeared,” said Benedictine.